Agenda Index City of Vancouver



Standing Committee on Planning and Environment


City Building Inspector


Demolition of Nuisance/Dangerous Principal and Infill
Buildings at 539 East 7th Avenue



), are a nuisance and dangerous to public safety pursuant to Section 324A of the Vancouver Charter.



Section 324A of the Vancouver Charter enables Council by resolution or by-law to declare any building, in or upon any private or public lands a nuisance or dangerous to public safety or health and by such by-law or resolution, to order that building to be removed by the owner, agent, lessee or occupier thereof.

Section 336D of the Vancouver Charter provides a mechanism whereby the City of Vancouver can warn prospective purchasers of contraventions of City By-laws relating to land or a building or structure. It provides that if the City Building Inspector observes a condition that he considers is of a nature that a purchaser, unaware of the contravention, would suffer a significant loss or expense if the By-law were enforced against him, he may recommend to City Council that a resolution be considered directing the City Clerk to file a notice against the Title to the property in the Land Title Office.


This matter was previously brought before City Council on July 8, 1999. At that time, Council passed a resolution declaring the buildings at the above site a nuisance and dangerous to public safety and ordered the property owner to pull down and demolish the buildings.

Subsequent to Council's actions, the property owner retained legal counsel and commenced an action for judicial review in Supreme Court seeking to have the resolution set aside. As a result of the owner's actions, the resolution was set aside. Counsel for the owner was advised by the City that this matter would be brought back before City Council in the New Year if the owner had not obtained the necessary permits for repairs to the building and if active construction had not commenced.

A review of our records for this property confirms that to date, no applications for permit have been submitted, nor have repairs to the buildings commenced.

The history of the property that led to this matter being brought before Council is as follows:

This site contains two buildings.

Since March of 1995, the City has received complaints about the untidy condition of the site and the fact that there was an illegal suite in the basement of the Principal dwelling. Several orders were issued to the property owner requiring that discarded materials and rubbish be removed from the site and that the illegal occupancy of the basement be discontinued. In addition, a report from the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board (copy attached) indicates that since April of 1995, there have been several complaints and violations of the Health Act in these buildings due to unsanitary conditions, sewer blockages, cockroach infestation and disconnection of electrical services.

In June of 1998, the Principal building suffered extensive fire damage and the Infill building also suffered some fire damage. The buildings were vacated and boarded-up by the City. The property owner was advised in writing that the buildings in their present state were not permitted to be occupied until permits were obtained to carry out the necessary repairs.

Since that time the City has received numerous complaints from the neighbouring residents concerning the presence of squatters in the buildings and intravenous needles scattered around the site.

Attached for Council's consideration, is a petition from the neighbouring residents that was submitted to the Vancouver Police Department requesting that the houses be demolished because of their unsightly condition, the presence of vagrants, drug dealers and prostitutes seen in and around the buildings, garbage in the lane and at the back of the site and the potential fire hazard that the buildings create.


An inspection by the District Building Inspector on January 11, 2000, revealed that the boarding had been pulled off of the rear of the Principal building and that it was open and accessible and in danger of being set on fire. As a result, an order was issued to the owner requiring that the building be securely boarded-up.

The structural damage and unsightly condition of these buildings together with the attraction to squatters and vagrants and the owner's failure to maintain the buildings in a secure condition and/or obtain permits for repairs, is detrimental to the neighbourhood and has jeopardized the safety of local residents

It is therefore recommended that City Council declare the principal and infill dwellings on this property a nuisance and dangerous to public safety and order the owner to demolish the buildings and remove all demolition debris from the site.

It is further recommended that a 336D Notice be filed against the Title to the property in order to warn any prospective purchasers that these buildings are in contravention of the Vancouver Building and Standards of Maintenance By-laws and that there is a Council Resolution against the property.


In the Matter of Sections 324A and 336D of the

Vancouver Charter and 539 East 7th Avenue


Be is resolved by the Council of the City of Vancouver:

A. THAT the principal and infill dwellings situated at 539 East 7th Avenue, Lot 18, Block 101, District Lot 264A, Plans 442 and 1771, PID 005-921-635 are declared to be a nuisance and dangerous to public safety.

B. THAT the owner is hereby ordered to pull down and demolish the principal and infill dwellings and remove the resulting debris and discarded materials from the site within 14 days of the date of a copy of this Resolution being served pursuant to Section 324A of the Vancouver Charter.

C. THAT in the event that the owner does not comply with the order set forth in the preceding paragraph, the City Building Inspector is hereby ordered and authorized to pull down and demolish the principal and infill buildings and remove the resulting debris and discarded materials from the site at the cost of the owner. The City Building Inspector may dispose of the discarded materials by selling to the demolition contractor any materials he may agree to purchase and may deliver the rest to a disposal site.

D. THAT the City Clerk is directed to file a 336D Notice against the Certificate of Title to the Property at 539 East 7th Avenue, in order to warn prospective purchasers that as a result of the By-law violations and Council's Resolution, the purchaser could suffer a significant expense if the order of Council were enforced against him.

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